NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — An eerie photo taken in front of a synagogue in North Hollywood is making its way around social media, provoking reactions of fear, anger and disgust.
A user identified as Noah Oiknine on Facebook says he took the picture himself Friday afternoon. In a post on the social media site, he recalled seeing a man with his head covered and sword in his hand making threatening gestures towards the Chabad.READ MORE: Two More Chargers Added To COVID List
Brian Levin is a domestic terrorism expert. He says tensions are high among some in the Jewish community after the mass synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
“We just had the worst act of anti-Semitic violence in American history,” Levin said.
“Anytime you see a picture like that, you gotta take it seriously,” he continued. “And there’s also federal laws governing interference and harassment of religious institutions and affiliated buildings.”READ MORE: Report: Leaking California Oil Pipe's Safeguards Not Fully Working
There have been incidents of hate crime in Los Angeles as well.
Last month, 32-year-old Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, of Seattle, was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly trying to run down two people outside of a synagogue in Hancock Park.
“Synagogue security is a big deal – as well as other houses of worship that we’re seeing nationally,” Levin added.MORE NEWS: As LA County DA George Gascón Touts First Year Accomplishments, Efforts To Recall Him Heat Up
CBS2/KCAL9 spoke with a spokesperson for the local Council on American-Islamic Relations. They said they did not know if the person depicted in the photo has a connection to the Muslim community nor if the incident was real or a hoax; however, they said they stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and are glad no one was hurt.